McAfee Launches Plan To Fight Cybercrime

McAfee execs announced the proposed plan Tuesday at the company's FOCUS 2008 Security Conference -- the company's first -- held in Las Vegas, Nev.

"Cyber crime is a growing problem that negatively impacts everybody," said Dave DeWalt, McAfee president and CEO, in a statement. "While a lot has been done to combat cybercrime over the past decade, criminals still have the upper hand. The chances of getting caught for knocking off a convenience store are several times larger than robbing an online bank. This must change."

Driving the initiative is the newly formed Cybercrime Advisory Council, which will allow McAfee researchers to glean knowledge from outside security experts and industry leaders. The independent group is chaired by Howard Schmidt, former White House cyber security adviser. Other members will include professors Ian Brown of Oxford University, and Lillian Edwards of Sheffield University, as well as Parry Aftab, founder and manager of WiredSafety, a cyber safety help group.

"While cybercrime is becoming more organized, there have been solid, positive strides made," said Schmidt. "McAfee is bringing together people who are knowledgeable about cybercrime and can help make a difference in this global, sophisticated problem."

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Altogether, the Santa Clara-based company plans to move its proposed initiative forward with a multi-faceted plan that will incorporate education and awareness, an enhanced legal framework and law enforcement partnerships and technical innovation.

Specifically, McAfee plans to work with law enforcment officials globally, while extending education to develop "street smarts" for end user customers. The company also plans to collaborate internationally and use assistance from governments, industry and non-governmental organizations to expand its reach to enforce international cyber laws.

As part of the effort, the company also unveiled its Cybercrime Response Unit, an organization that will assist cyber crime victims by assessing security environments, while providing evidentiary advice for law enforcement in cyber crime prosecution, and victim referrals to appropriate law enforcement, credit and support organizations.